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by the openly sinful ? No: in “ vain is the det spread in the sight of any bird.” The more able and holy then, persons are, if they be not sound in the faith, the more are they to be avoided. It is a true saying, that great men have sometimes great faults. When the metal has run very deeply in one portion of the mould, it is apt to be proportionably shallow in another.
Once more : let us cease from ourselves. Let us not lean on our own understanding, our own strength or purity of principle-the stone on which an apostle stumbled--but be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might; let not the rich man glory in bis riches; but let him that glorieth, glory in this—that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD, which executeth loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.” Let us put no confidence in the fleshno reliance on our own righteousness; but put on by a living faith the righteousness of IMMANUELthe only righteousness in which, being clothed, we shall not be found naked : the only wedding garment in which we can be admitted to the marriage supper of the Lamb.
In fine, dear reader, Let your life be by faith in the Son of God, who loved you, himself for you. Let all your springs be in him. Draw from his fulness all needed supplies of grace and strength. This is a fountain whose waters fail not. When we make the LORD our portion, and commit the keeping of our souls to Him, in well doing; and live as daily pensioners on his bounty, like the Church in the wilderness ; then, whatever may ensue, we have the strong consolation of having “ cast all our care upon him, who careth for us." Is it low with us in temporal things? Then we can live upon him, who feedeth the ravens, and the cattle upon a thousand hills : “ who giveth food to all flesh,” and hath promised to his people, that “ he will never leave them, nor forsake them.” Are we weak? Then we can lay hold of him by faith and prayer, in whom is strength everlasting, and whose strength “ is made perfect in our weakness.” Do friends prove fickle, or depart? We can console ourselves in him, who is a “ friend that sticketh closer than a brother, who is the brother born for adversity.” Does man menace? We can encourage ourselves in God. In a word, does the whole world frown upon
and gave upon
We can get us to our strong tower, and delight ourselves in the smile of him, ' in whose coun tenance heaven lieth.' Oh ! what an invaluable privilege! What an unutterable relief, when the soul, having in a sense of its own inability fitly to perform her duties, and conquer her various and powerful opponents, been nearly overwhelmed, and crushed to despair, is enabled to realize the allsufficiency of Jesus, and roll upon him her entire burden. An instant sunshine flashes
heart, and in the bosom previously agitated like the troubled sea, there succeeds a great calm, even that “peace of God, which passeth all understanding."
Let us then, endeavour, in the practice of prayer and meditation, to live in the uninterrupted exercise of this wonder-working principle of Faith. This alone will give us the victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil. Let us be constantly “ looking unto Jesus," our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. Let him be our strength, our arm, our portion, our joy, our all. We cannot expect too much from Him, or too little from the world. However we are supported and blessed, still, it is Christ that
supports and blesses us. He sustains all that sustains us.1 He is the God of ALL comfort.? Bread cannot nourish, sleep cannot recruit, medicine cannot cure, legislatures cannot provide, fleets nor armies defend,—nor any creature profit us, except by his especial blessing. Nay, the bread of life itself-His own word --cannot benefit the soul, but is a letter that killeth, unless accompanied by the Spirit of life.
All are but dead instruments in the hand of the living God. All, but the created vehicles whereby he is pleased to communicate his
And whatsoever receive through their instrumentality, we might, if he so ordained, receive immediately from himself. He
2 2 Cor
is all-sufficient. All creatures, before him, are less than nothing, and vanity. 1
Yet he graciously vouchsafes to mingle himself with his children here below, to tabernacle among them : as once by his Son, so now by his Spirit; and to shed abroad in their hearts a delightful feeling of his loving presence. Let his children show themselves grateful to him, for his unspeakable condescension. Let them evince their gratitude by rejoicing in him, by walking worthy of him unto all pleasing ; being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God. While many say, "Who will shew us any good ?” let them exclaim, “LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us !” “ Shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Let them set their affections on things above, and not on things on the earth.”
“ Is it a time to receive olive-yards, and vineyards ?” to be covetous and ambitious, seeking our portion in this life, spreading ourselves over the earth like creeping shrubs- when the whole frame-work of society is trembling, and hell moved from beneath, and pouring her mists and myrmidons over the face of the world ? Surely, if ever there was a period, since the commencement of time, when it behoved us to be “spiritually-minded, and to walk circumspectly," it is the present.
Whether the view of a personal coming of Christ, prior to the millennium, be correct, or not, one thing
1 Note XXXI.
must be admitted, it may be correct. Much is to be said in its support, and many wise and spiritual men have accordingly embraced it. We cannot deny too, that his second coming is an event to which the eye of the Church is repeatedly directed in Scripture : that we are also warned to watch and be ready for it; for that the day of the Lord so cometh, as a thief in the night;” and if Christians in the early ages of Christianity-nearly two thousand years since-were thus enjoined, how much more forcibly does the injunction apply to us, “ upon
whom the ends of the world are come.” 1 Whatever view we form of the question, at all events, a speedy coming of Christ, of a sufficiently tremendous character, is confidently anticipated by all,-(and their number is not small in these days) who diligently search the sacred Scriptures, and compare their predictions with passing occurrences.
Mankind for the most part, however, are living at ease, caring for none of these things. Like the ungodly, in the days of Noah, they eat and drink, marry, and are given in marriage, while they regard not the work of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands. They live without God
1. Yet say some,it cannot be even now very near, for much remains to be previously accomplished. But God does not act according to our conclusions. He can cut short his work in righteousness. Yet, let us allow the truth contained in the objection. His coming by death is the same to you in effect, as his coming at the last day. As soon as you are dead, as to you, the prophecies are all accomplished, and your state is fixed. There is no pardon, no prayer, after death, after death, the judgment.'-Rev. W. JAY.